Colossians 2:12 - “Buried with him in BAPTISM, wherein also ye are risen with him THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead”
Colossians 2:12 - A verse frequently misunderstood and mistranslated in the fake bible versions.
Colossians 2:12 - “Buried with him in BAPTISM, wherein also ye are risen with him THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead”
First, let’s look at the whole context. It describes the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ to redeem His people at the cross.
This is an accomplished redemption. It is not a “potential” redemption or “made possible if only you accept it”.
Colossians 2:9-15 King James Bible
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, WHEREIN ALSO YE ARE RISEN WITH HIM THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, HATH HE QUICKENED TOGETHER WITH HIM, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and TOOK IT OUT OF THE WAY, NAILING IT TO HIS CROSS;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Notice that the Bible teaches that when Christ died, we also (God’s elect) died together with Him, and when Christ was quickened and raised from the dead, we also were quickened and raised together WITH HIM.
This is an accomplished redemption that took place AT THE CROSS. It is NOT “conditional upon man’s personal choice to place his faith in Christ in order to make it effective” as the “free will” religionists tell us.
The same truth is taught in the book of Ephesians.
“Chosen in Christ”
In no uncertain terms God tells us in his book:
3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4. According as HE HATH CHOSEN US IN HIM (in Christ) BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love;
5. HAVING PREDESTINATED US unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, ACCORDING TO THE GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL,
6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
And when exactly were God’s chosen people actually redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb? This same book of Ephesians goes on to explain in chapter 2:4-10 -
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, HATH QUICKENED US TOGETHER WITH CHRIST, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 AND HATH RAISED US UP TOGETHER, AND MADE US SIT TOGETHER IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 FOR WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
The plain truth of Scripture is that God chose his people before the foundation of the world IN CHRIST, and that we were IN CHRIST when he died and we were raised up TOGETHER WITH HIM when he was raised, and we are now seated in the heavenly places IN CHRIST JESUS and that we are GOD’S workmanship CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS.
No where in these passages of holy Scripture do we read a single word about the vaunted “free will of man” or his “decision to follow Christ” or even of him “placing his faith in Christ.” It is ALL of God.
If you were not chosen IN Christ before the foundation of the world, and were not IN Christ when he died and rose from the dead, then you are no child of God at all, and never will be.
Back to Colossians 2:12 -
“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead”
The first thing to clarify here is that the word “Baptism” does NOT refer to water baptism, as many people believe.
It refers to the “baptism into death” that the Lord Jesus Christ underwent and suffered at the cross, and God’s elect people were also baptized into this death at that time.
The Lord refers to this baptism in several Scriptures. The Lord Jesus had already been baptized in water long before He made these statements about “baptism”.
22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, YE SHALL drink indeed of my cup, and BE BAPTIZED WITH THE BAPTISM THAT I AM BAPTIZED WITH: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”
This was a yet future event when Christ would drink of the cup of the wrath of God, and we in Him, for the sins of His people and TOGETHER they would be baptized into this baptism of death.
Mark 10:38-39 - “But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, YE SHALL INDEED drink of the cup that I drink of; and WITH THE BAPTISM THAT I AM BAPTIZED WITHAL SHALL YE BE BAPTIZED.”
49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
50 But I HAVE A BAPTISM TO BE BAPTIZED WITH; and how am I straitened TILL IT BE ACCOMPLISHED!
Many people think that whenever they see the word “baptism” it is speaking of water baptism. But it is not always the case.
Romans 6 is NOT talking about “water baptism” but about our identification with Christ in his “baptism into death”, when we were crucified together with Him and raised up together with Him and are now seated in the heavenly places in Christ.
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as WERE BAPTIZED INTO JESUS CHIRST WERE BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH?
4 Therefore we are BURIED WITH HIM BY BAPTISM INTO DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if WE HAVE BEEN PLANTED TOGETHER IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that OUR OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
So, when we read in Colossians 2:12 “BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, wherein also ye are risen with him THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead”, this is NOT referring to water baptism, but to that “baptism into death” when God’s elect died with Christ and were raised up together with Him.
It all took place at the cross once and for all for all of God’s elect.
“THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD.”
The second phrase that is greatly misunderstood and that many modern fake bible versions mistranslate and turn upside down, is “ye are risen with him THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD.”
The King James Bible is absolutely correct in the way they have translated this verse and “the faith” referred to here is NOT the individual’s personal faith or belief, but rather it refers to “the faith of God” or the doctrine and body of truth God has revealed to us through the gospel.
Even in the context of Colossians we read of this “the faith” as being the objective revelation of truth.
Notice how “the faith” is used in Colossians 1:23 “If ye continue IN THE FAITH (τη πιστει) grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel”
And in Colossians 2:7 “Rooted and built up in him, and STABLISHED IN THE FAITH (εν τη πιστει) , AS YE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT, abounding therein with thanksgiving”
This is literally “stablished IN THE FAITH” (εν τη πιστει) and so read Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ bible 1568, the Geneva bible 1587, Darby 1890, Young’s 1898, NKJV 1982, NRSV 1989, NIV 2011, the ISV 2014, Modern English Version 2014, the ESV 2016, Holman Standard 2017.
But some fake bible versions have mistranslated it and thus change the meaning. It gets even worse in Colossians 2:12, as we shall soon see.
The ASV, NASB, NET have added words not found in any text and say: “and established IN YOUR FAITH.” There is no word for “your” and they omitted the definite article “the”.
The Faith = the Doctrinal Truth of what we believe
Galatians 1:23 - “But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth THE FAITH which once he destroyed.”
The Faith of God = the Truth of God
Romans 3:3-4 - “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make THE FAITH OF GOD (την πιστιν του θεου) without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
Romans 1:5 - “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to THE FAITH among all nations, for his name”
Colossians 2:12 - KJB “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, (δια της πιστεως της ενεργειας του θεου) who hath raised him from the dead.
Many modern versions have mistranslated this verse so that it no longer refers to the faith or doctrine of truth that God has wrought, but rather to a person’s individual faith instead.
In this way, they try to promote the idea that none of these things are true or actually took place - that we died WITH Christ and were raised up TOGETHER WITH HIM - unless and until man “does his part” and “chooses to accept Christ”.
None of this “will of the flesh” religion is found in the Bible. It is just the invention of the “natural man’s” carnal thinking.
Here are some of the fake bibles and how they have mistranslated Colossians 2:12.
NKJV, ESV, Holman Standard “you were also raised with Him through FAITH IN the working of God.”
NIV, NET, Jehovah Witness NWT - “through YOUR FAITH IN the working of God”
NO text reads “your” nor “in” and they omitted the words “the”. And they end up totally changing the meaning of the verse. Other than that, it is a pretty good translation;-)
The Catholic Connection
The previous Douay-Rheims of 1582 actually got it right. It says: “Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD who hath raised him up from the dead.”
But the more modern Catholic versions have changed the meaning.
Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 - “through YOUR BELIEF in the power of God”
Roman Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 goes all out with the “free will” Arminian position and translates the verse as:
“In baptism you are not only buried with him but also raised to life with him BECAUSE YOU BELIEVED in the power of God who raised him from the dead.”
This is a total paraphrase that ends up turning the true meaning of the verse upside down.
“Free Will” Theology comes right out of the Roman Catholic Catechism. This is the official teaching of the Catholic church.
There IS a way to say “YOUR faith IN Christ” and it is found right here in Colossians 2:5 where we read:
“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST. (της εις χριστον πιστεως υμων)
The word for “YOUR” is υμων and the word for IN is εις. BUT this is NOT what is found in Colossians 2:12.
Agreeing with the King James Bible and correctly reading: ““Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead” are the following Bible translations -
Tyndale 1925, Coverdale 1935, The Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s bible 1549, the Bishops’ bible 1568, the Douay-Rheims 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599 -“through the faith of the operation of God”, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, the Smith Bible 1876, the RV 1885, Young’s 1898, the ASV 1901, The Recovery N.T. 1985, the World English bible 2000, The Tomson N.T. 2002, Green’s Literal 2005, A Conservative Version 2005, Jubilee Bible 2010, The Hebrew Transliteration Scripture 2010 - “through the faith of the operation of Elohim”, the Lexham English bible 2012, and The Biblos Bible 2013.
Similar versions -
The Third Millennium Bible 1996 reads: “wherein ye also are risen with Him through THE FAITH WROUGHT BY THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised Him from the dead.”
The Conservative Bible 2010 - “you are also risen with Him through THE FAITH FROM THE WORKING-OUT BY GOD, Who has raised Him from the dead.”
The Modern Literal Version 2014 - “were also raised up together with him THROUGH THE FAITH FROM THE WORKING OF GOD, who raised him up from the dead.”
The Pioneer’s New Testament 2014 - “buried together with him in baptism, you all were also resurrected together, in him, THROUGH THE ENERGETIC, ACTIVE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD, who raised him from the dead. “
1 Peter 3:21 - “baptism doth also now save us”
Many people think this is wrong theology because they THINK it is referring to “water” Baptism. But I don’t believe it is at all. I believe it refers to the same “baptism into death” that this study has been about that Christ went through when he bore the judgment for our sins in his own body on the cross.
Let’s look at the passage.
1 Peter 1:18-21 -
18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Just as the flood of water that fell from heaven in the days of Noah was God’s judgment upon a wicked world which was buried under the water, and God’s people were raised above the waters by means of the ark of safety, so is this judgment a figure of the true baptism that Christ underwent for our benefit and salvation at the cross.
It is not the putting away of the filth of the flesh - being physically cleansed by water, but rather the answer of a good conscience towards God - sins put away.
Read the passage by removing the (parenthesis). “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”
It was his Baptism into death and subsequent resurrection that saves us and cleanses our conscience from sins.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, PURGE YOUR CONSCIENCE from dead works to serve the living God.” Hebrews 9:14
John Owen comments on “baptism” as used in Romans 6 . “Our being "buried with him by baptism into death" [Rom. 6:4] is our being "planted together in the likeness of his death," verse 5. Our being "planted together in the likeness of his death" is not our being dipped under water, but "the crucifying of the old man," verse 6. Our being "raised up with Christ from the dead" is not our rising from under the water, but our "walking in newness of life," verse 4, by virtue of the resurrection of Christ, I Pet. iii. 21."
Owen, Works, vol. 16, p. 268.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are one of those whom the Father chose in Christ before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:3-6) He drew you to himself (John 6:44), called you by name (John 10:3), worked in you "both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13) and gave you both repentance (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25) and the faith to believe in him as your Saviour from sin. (Romans 12:3; Philippians 1:29; Hebrews 12:2; Ephesians 2:8)
All of this was “NOT of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Romans 9:16)
And the Bible that presents these truths far more clearly than all the others is the King James Holy Bible.
For more on this topic, see “Calvinism (Monergism) and the King James Bible”
Side Note on Water Baptism during the time of the KJB translators.
Documented proof that the KJB translators baptized by immersion and not by sprinkling.
BAPTISM IN THE KING JAMES VERSION
By Paul Kirkpatrick
ALL of grace, believing the Book and eternally thankful to the God who loved me and gave Himself for me,